Bylaws for LGBTQ Employee Group at JMU

Article 1. Name and Purpose

Section 1. The name of the organization is [name here].

Section 2. The mission of the [name here] is to advocate for a safe, equitable, and enjoyable workplace at James Madison University for individuals whose primary role on campus is as “employee” and who do not identify as heterosexual and/or cisgender, and their allies. [Name here] serves as an interest-based coalition of people who, regardless of identity or subject position, are united by a commitment to equality for LGBTQ people at JMU.

While the natures of these populations span the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression continua, for simplicity and familiarity this document utilizes the term “LGBT*Q”. Use of this term does not indicate a narrowing of identities to those starting with the letters LGBT* or Q. Rather, it is a shorthand for self-description as an organization.

To pursue this mission, the purposes of the [name here] are to:

  • Conduct its business in a transparent and inclusive manner that is sensitive to the needs of the multiple identities and groups inherent to the LGBT*Q community and its allies.
  • Advocate for safety and equity for LGBT*Q employees at JMU.
  • Provide a forum for dialogue and debate about LGBT*Q issues for employees at JMU.
  • Act as a liaison with administrators at JMU and JMU-affiliated employers whose employees spend their working hours on the JMU campus.
  • Sponsor social and educational events focused on the LGBT*Q community.

Article II. Membership                                                                                                        

Section 1. All individuals whose primary role on campus is as “employee” at JMU are eligible to join the [name here], including affiliates.

Section 2. Membership is free. Members formalize their affiliation with the group by submitting their name, employee status, department/office/unit affiliation, and contact information. The Privacy Statement included in the group’s membership form describes how membership information is handled and managed.

Article III. Officers and Committees

Section 1. The organization shall be led by a Steering Committee composed of no fewer than three and no more than seven members. The Steering Committee will:

  • Develop proposals regarding the formalizing of group structures and processes;
  • Serve as liaisons to the Diversity Council Chairs, the President’s Special Assistant for Diversity, and other offices and personnel regarding issues and programming affecting LGBTQ and allied employees on campus;
  • Support the Advocacy and Networking and Programming Committees and other initiatives.
  • Maintain the LGBT*Q Faculty/Staff listserv, social media, and website.

Steering Committee members shall be elected by the members by the last business meeting of the academic year.  A call for nominations will be sent to members’ preferred method of communication by the first week of April.  Nominations may occur on behalf of self or by others; if by others, the Steering Committee must verify agreement to be nominated. The Steering Committee communicates nominations to membership throughout the nomination period.  At the close of nominations, the Steering Committee implements a one week voting period utilizing members’ preferred communication methods.  New Steering Committee members are selected based upon a plurality of votes until seven spots are filled on the Committee. 

Steering Committee members shall serve for a term of two years, and terms shall be staggered. To this end, one-half of the first elected Steering Committee members (rounded down) shall serve one-year terms. One-half of the first elected Steering Committee members (rounded up) shall serve two-year terms.

Section 2. Once elected, the Steering Committee members will decide among themselves who shall hold the positions of Chair, Enrollment and Membership Manager, and Communication Manager.

  • The Chair is responsible for convening, creating an agenda for, and chairing regular business meetings, as well as other duties related to the efficient and effective operation of the group.
  • The Enrollment and Membership Manager is responsible for receiving and maintaining accurate records of group members in compliance with the group’s privacy statement.
  • The Communications Manager is responsible for the development and maintenance of the group’s online presence and sending and receiving messages from the group’s email account.

Section 3. In addition to the Steering Committee, the organization shall have two Standing Committees: an Advocacy Committee and a Networking and Programming Committee. Standing Committees will be formed by self-selection at the first business meeting.

  • The Advocacy Committee promotes awareness of issues related to LGBTQ people and their allies across the university and provides guidance and direction on outreach and engagement with the campus community. This committee supports this work among other ways through consistent and valid information gathering.
  • The Networking and Programming Committee plans and hosts events and activities in support of group goals and in collaboration with the Advocacy Committee.

Section 4. Ad Hoc committees may be established by the Steering Committee as the need arises.

Section 5. The Steering Committee and other committees shall not represent official positions of the membership unless specifically empowered to do so by the majority vote of the membership.

Article IV. Meetings and Events

Section 1. There shall be a minimum of two business meetings during the academic year (September through May). The purpose of these meetings is to transact the group’s business. Actionable items may be introduced at the business meeting. If a vote is called, a description of the issue, the motion, and a ballot will be distributed after the meeting to membership utilizing members’ preferred communication method. The matter will be decided by majority vote within one week of the meeting. Chair will tabulate and communicate the results. Only members shall vote. The Steering Committee shall set the dates for business meetings. Meetings shall not take place during official university holiday periods or breaks.

Section 2. Notice of regular business meetings shall be made through multiple communication means including digital and physical form at a minimum of one week prior to the specified date of the meeting.

Section 3. Members may request a special meeting of the group by submitting a letter to the Chair that is signed by at least six members.

Section 4. In addition to its regular meetings, the organization shall also sponsor a minimum of three events during the academic year that substantively advance the mission and purposes of the group.

Article V. Amendments.

Section 1. These by-laws may be amended by a majority of the membership. Any member may propose amendments to the bylaws. Proposed amendments shall be considered at regular business meetings.  Proposed amendments shall include the proposed amendment language precisely worded, the current bylaw, the bylaw as it will read if the amendment is adopted, the rationale for the proposal, and whether or not a committee of the group endorses the proposal.

After each business meeting, proposed amendments, supporting documentation, and ballots shall be sent to the membership utilizing members’ preferred communication method. Ballots shall be returned within one week.  Chair will tabulate and communicate results.

Note: The formation of these bylaws adopted elements from the Constitution of the Madison Caucus for Gender Equality at James Madison University.


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